Abul Mansur Ahmad, a renowned litterateur, journalist and politician of the sub-continent, played a significant role in enriching Bangla language and literature through his writings, eminent personalities said yesterday.
The write-ups of the late litterateur helped awaken Bangalee psyche. People of both Bengal -- Bangladesh and India's West Bengal -- still become inspired by reading his texts, they said at an international seminar.
Centre for Language, Translation and Cultural Studies under School of Humanities at Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU) and Abul Mansur Ahmad Smriti Parishad organised the seminar titled, “Abul Mansur Ahmad and Contemporary Bangla: History and Literature”, in NSOU auditorium on the campus in Salt Lake City of Kolkata.
Eminent Bangladeshi writer Selina Hossain inaugurated the event, held between 11:00am and 5:00pm.
Speaking on the occasion, she said the contribution of Abul Mansur Ahmad to Bangla literature is significant. He awakened Bangalee psyche through his writings.
“The write-ups of Abul Mansur are still invaluable. His literary works guide Bangalees; inspire them. He enriched and expanded Bangla language,” she told a packed house of over 100 participants including noted writers, academics, researchers and journalists from both the countries.
He played a significant role in keeping Bangla literature alive among the Bangalee Muslims at a time when they were lagging behind in literature, she added.
NSOU Vice Chancellor Prof Subha Shankar Sarkar said, “We have to let the present generation know about the contributions of a farsighted person like Abul Mansur Ahmad.”
Noted Indian journalist Snehasis Sur, also president of Kolkata Press Club, said the life and works of Abul Mansur Ahmad was tri-directional as he was a writer, journalist and politician.
“Such multidimensional activities made his life diverse. He shone bright as a journalist in the beginning of his career, then as a litterateur and afterwards as a politician,” he said.
Abul Mansur Ahmad started his career at weekly Mohammadi. He also worked for several other prominent newspapers such as The Musalman, Krishak and Nabajug. He was editor of the Kolkata based Daily Ittehad from 1946 to 1948.
He was also known for doing journalism in English, said Snehasis while presenting an article on Abul Mansur Ahmad.
The Daily Star Editor and Publisher Mahfuz Anam, the youngest son of Abul Mansur Ahmad, said people of the Bengal region have to united; they have to understand each other. They should identify themselves as Bangalees, he added.
Abul Mansur Ahmad was one of the writers who contributed towards writing the history of the partition of Bengal, he said.
He said the international seminar was organised as part of their project on the partition of Bengal and the 1971 Liberation War.
He also thanked the NSOU authorities for arranging such an event and introducing his father to the readers, writers and researchers of Kolkata in a new way.
Three articles on Abul Mansur Ahmad were presented in two separate segments during the seminar.
Dr Md Chenggish Khan, a professor of Bangla at Bangladesh Open University, presented an article titled, “Partition, Hindu-Muslim Antipathy and Abul Mansur Ahmad's Satire”.
Dr Barendu Mandal, a professor of history at Jadavpur University in India, and journalist Snehasis Sur presented another article titled, “Contemporary East Bengal and Abul Mansur Ahmad's Literature”.
The third article titled, “Abul Mansur and Evolution of the Thoughts of Bangalee Muslims”, was presented by Dr Rajarshi Chakrabarty of the history department at the University of Burdwan in India.
Besides, a documentary on the life and activities of Abul Mansur Ahmad was also exhibited.
During the seminar, Kolkata Press Club presented the guests with a book titled, “Bangla Sangbadpotrer 200 Bochor”.
Prof Sadhan Chakraborty, vice chancellor of Kazi Nazrul University in India; Manan Kumar Mandal, a professor of Bangla at NSOU; and Habibur Rahman, a professor of Islamic University in Kushtia, Bangladesh; also spoke.
Abul Mansur Ahmad was born in 1898 in Dhanikhola village of Trishal, Mymensingh. He passed away in 1979 in Dhaka.